SPACE STATION STATUS REPORT #02-5
Expedition Four Commander Yury Onufrienko and Astronaut Dan Bursch completed a five-hour, 59-minute spacewalk outside the International Space Station today, installing six thruster deflectors at the rear of the Zvezda Service Module, retrieving and replacing a device to measure material from the thrusters and installing a ham radio antenna and its cabling. They also installed three materials experiments on Zvezda’s exterior and a physics experiment.
With Onufrienko and Bursch working outside, Astronaut Carl Walz served as intravehicular crewmember, helping to coordinate the spacewalk and maneuvering the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2, to allow its television cameras to view the spacewalk. This was the 33rd spacewalk for station assembly and outfitting and the eighth conducted from the station itself. Onufrienko and Bursch, wearing Russian Orlan spacesuits, installed six plume deflectors around attitude control thrusters at the rear of the Zvezda module. The deflectors are designed to limit deposits on the outside of the station that result from the firing of those thrusters.
The spacewalkers also removed an experiment called Kromka situated near one of the thruster groups. The experiment captured material that results from thruster firings. It will be returned to Earth in early May aboard a Soyuz spacecraft. By studying the captured materials, engineers will gain a better understanding of the nature of the deposits. Onufrienko and Bursch installed a virtually identical new Kromka experiment in the same place. Future analysis of the materials it captures will provide information on the effect of the plume deflectors. They also installed a ham radio antenna and associated cabling at the rear of Zvezda. The antenna is the second of four that eventually will be situated around the back of the module. Onufrienko and Walz had installed the first antenna during a Jan. 14 spacewalk.
Onufrienko and Bursch also attached a physics experiment called Platan to Zvezda. Platan is designed to capture low-energy heavy nuclei from the sun and from outside the solar system. In addition, they installed three materials experiments, called SKK for their Russian acronym, on Zvezda. The experiments examine effects of the harsh environment of space on a wide range of materials. The spacewalkers also installed fairleads on Zvezda handrails. The fairleads, called pigtails, keep spacewalkers’ tethers from fouling equipment or experiments on the module’s exterior. Throughout the spacewalk, they took photos to document their work.
Information on the crew's activities aboard the space station, future launch dates and times, as well as station sighting opportunities from anywhere on the Earth, is available on the internet at: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov. Details on station science operations can be found on an internet site administered by the Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., at: http://www.scipoc.msfc.nasa.gov. The next ISS status report will be issued Feb. 1.
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